July 23, 2019

When I was around seven years old, I said something to a family friend that horrified my parents. The auntie in question was describing her struggles around putting her kids in public school, how she needed to find the right area to live to make sure that they had a decent and safe education. Recalling that being in Christian school meant that somehow I was in ‘private school,’ I retorted that the advantage of going the private route was that… Read more

July 22, 2019

My wife and I finally watched the new Netflix rom com Always Be My Maybe. Her reaction to it was a bit more like mine to Crazy Rich Asians. It was a cute movie, she thought, funny in most places, but really just a piece of entertainment, nothing earth-shattering. Meanwhile, I alternated between laughing gleefully and verging on tears, a bit like those who saw Henry Golding coming out of the house to embrace Constance Wu tearing up because a (sort of) Asian man… Read more

June 10, 2019

I was holding my icon of the Holy Martyrs of China on my heart at the solidarity gathering in Chicago for the Hong Kong protests on June 9 — the ones that brought over a million people out to the streets in Hong Kong to oppose the amendments that would allow the Beijing government to request the extradition of whoever, including dissidents, it has deemed to have committed a crime against it — when a student of mine who was… Read more

June 8, 2019

I was very moved when I read of the conversation that the newly enthroned Metropolitan Borys (Gudziak) in this Kyivan Church of ours in the United States had with his priests, with Patriarch Sviatoslav in attendance. At first, some of it felt like old hat to us who are in this church, especially the re-litigation once again of the question of whether we who are not Ukrainian belong. There is a story of a high-ranking bishop in our church, who… Read more

June 4, 2019

My mother tells me that I could read before I turned two. I do not remember this, but I do recall, faintly, me bringing blocks of alphabet letters to her while she sat enthroned in the bathroom. She would tell me what each of the letters were, how they were pronounced. I am not sure that that is reading, though, because after she came off the toilet, we would have our daily house tour, where I’d point to various household… Read more

June 3, 2019

I think it was midway into my senior year in high school that my family decided that we were moving to Canada. That was while we were in the Bay Area. That’s the San Francisco Bay Area, for the uninitiated, and this is your last warning, as I won’t repeat the long form version of what the region is called. I went to school in Hayward. We lived in Fremont. Both are places that folks who are not from Northern… Read more

May 24, 2019

Every year, in the month of May, the Multicultural Student Affairs’ office at Northwestern puts on an event for the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month. It was my great honour to be invited as the faculty speaker for this year, and I was so moved by how my brilliant student Ying Dai, who is on the committee, introduced me with her close knowledge of exactly what I’m up to in my scholarship and teaching. The organizing committee… Read more

May 14, 2019

I was in Madison for Great and Holy Week because every year, the Association of Asian American Studies seems to fall on some version of Great and Holy Week, whether on the Old Calendar or the New. Unable to catch a break, I attended my discipline’s annual professional meeting and even organized a panel on the work of my intellectual hero, the historian Gary Okihiro, on the afternoon of Great and Holy Saturday. The timing, of course, was not of… Read more

May 11, 2019

It’s out in English! Greek Catholic theological reflections as Asian American theology! The magazine Часопис Патріярхат, which is the journal of record for our beloved Greek-Catholic Church where intellectuals, clergy, and lay people disseminate ideas, invited me to contribute a piece last winter on my intellectual journey in this Kyivan Church of ours. The Ukrainian version, brilliantly translated by the editor Volodymyr Moroz, has been widely read throughout our church, and now it’s gone online in English. The expanded version with footnotes will… Read more

May 10, 2019

A student messaged me about a month ago to tell me that she had read somewhere that I was on a list of Asian American theologians. I thought that couldn’t be right. I have always denied being a theologian — I am a social and cultural geographer who works on the concept of the postsecular and locates that work in everyday lives lived in communities structured by the ‘Pacific Rim’ — so I said she must be wrong. But she… Read more

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